> gallery > the skins series > a woman out of time  

I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some one aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self. But this is a destructive and fragmenting way to live. My fullest concentration of energy is available to me only when I integrate all the parts of who I am, openly, allowing power from particular sources of my living to flow back and forth freely though all my different selves, without the restrictions of externally imposed definition.
—Audre Lorde

A Woman Out of Time
Poems by Elizabeth Ingraham  

These poems accompany the skins series of life size female sculptures:

(skins sculpture)
a woman in the shape of a potato    (longing)       
danger     (
knitting    (
memory tables  
mouth words       (
needlepoint     (
ordinary life    (
the expansion room    (
desire )       
the Sea of Cortez    (
the Villager dress    (
the woman was      (
tools for internal exiles    (
what I did with my desire   (comfort

about these poems  

In my work I give form and voice to lived experience, much of which is lost in silence and invisibility—discounted, trivialized, marginalized, discarded. In my sculpture I make this experience tangible and palpable. In my writing I make this experience visual and audible.

In both my sculpture and my writing I explore the relationship between domesticity, devotion, complicity and resistance: what it means to tend, what devotion exacts, how domesticity can mask subversion as well as serve oppression, how we weave and repair and ultimately shed our own restraints.

These poems were adapted by Kathryn Moller for the stage as SKINS, a main stage ensemble performance for the Fort Lewis College Theatre in Durango, Colorado incorporating dance and music.

Director Kathryn Moller writes:

". . . for me, SKINS is really about colonization. Colonization of our bodies, no matter what race, class or gender, whether we be women, men or children. . . . [R]ecurring [is the] motif of transformation; of finding a way to convert or reconstruct a self image that transcends traditional ideology; a way to shed our ‘skins.’

"The person in the poetry metamorphoses away from boundaries of image, finding a way out of her skin, whether it be through love, lust, environment, solitude or art.

Through our own self-searching, we have found that SKINS is finally about power. It is about finding a real power within ourselves, our lives past and future, and within the flesh of our own bodies."

Elizabeth Ingraham
eingraham2 [at]